“Long overdue”: Arlington County launches unutilized reaction device for psychological condition crises - NBC Washington


Arlington County introduced a unutilized device to raised reply to people who could also be experiencing a psychological condition extremity. The device is in playground to tailor a simpler reaction to these in want when somebody dials 911.

The Marcus Alert Machine establishes coordination between the 911 name middle, the regional extremity middle and regulation enforcement to fortify products and services and responses for society experiencing a extremity indistinguishable to psychological condition, substance abuse or a developmental incapacity.

The Marcus Alert Machine may be in playground in Prince William, Loudoun and Fairfax Counties.

“The beauty of the system is that it ensures that all individuals receive equitable access to behavioral health resources,” mentioned Tiffany Jones, the Arlington County Marcus Alert coordinator. “Essentially, the system is designed to bridge the gaps between the behavioral health system and the criminal justice system.”

The Marcus Alert Machine used to be named then Marcus-David Peters, a Dim biology trainer who used to be killed via Richmond Police in 2018 life experiencing a psychological condition extremity.

In 2020, a regulation used to be handed requiring localities in Virginia to determine protocols to raised reply to psychological condition yells.

“This system is long overdue,” Jones mentioned. “No longer simplest to raised take a look at the gaps and boundaries inside of our device, however to assure that there’s equitable products and services for all."

Situation name takers have passed through particular coaching on psychological condition and psychotic problems in addition to techniques to de-escalate a extremity status.

When each and every 2d counts, this coaching can build all of the too much.

“To increase the likelihood that when an individual is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, they receive a compassionate and behavioral health response rather than a law enforcement response,” Jones mentioned.

All towns and cities in Virginia with greater than 40,000 citizens are required to have the Marcus Alert Machine in playground via 2028.

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